The Forensic Nurse Working with Intimate Partner Violence, Elder Abuse, and Child Maltreatment

Some forensic nurses complete specialized education and clinical preparation in the care of patients who have experienced physical and emotional abuse or neglect, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and/or child maltreatment.   The forensic nurse who works with this patient population is often responsible for screening for and assessment of the abuse, the medical forensic evaluation of the patient; development and implementation of safety plans; and provision of education, outreach and information for health care providers, community members, and policy makers. The nurse normally works in concert with a collaborative, multidisciplinary group of professionals to develop a plan of care for the patient at discharge.   Registered nurses with experience in areas that require advanced physical assessment skills, such as emergency or critical care, are usually those who gravitate toward this aspect of forensic nursing.Some specialists begin their careers as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and gradually add this expertise, while others solely focus on this one area of forensic nursing. It is very rare (though not unheard of) to find an employment opportunity for a forensic nurse focusing solely on non-sexual violence. Nurses will want to make sure that the training they receive meets all of the requirements in their community, and well as any nationally established standards. Requirements vary significantly, and each state, province, or country Board of Nursing/College of Nursing may have different requirements for nursing practice in this specialty area.  


Intimate Partner Violence

Elder Abuse

Child Maltreatment